Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Notre Dame de La Salette: Priez pour nous

The Nine Day Novena To Our Lady of LaSalette

Day One

Theme: Welcome

Scripture Says: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." (Mt. 11: 28, 30)

Mary Said: "Come near, my children."


What a wonderful invitation! In all simplicity Mary at La Salette calls the two children to come near. Her words echo her Son's invitation to come to him that we may find rest from our burdens and refreshment for our spirits. This too is Mary's desire: that her children-meaning us as well- should feel welcomed and loved.

Mary wishes us to come nearer to God who desires only good for us. We must approach and listen to her words, spoken with the love and concern of Jesus. She and her Son wish that during this La Salette Novena of prayer we may "have life and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) This is a wonderful outcome from this special time of prayer-that we would feel at home and sense the fullness of life God wishes for us. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Virgin Mother of La Salette, we approach your loving Son with confidence. We place before our Savior our labors and burdens, our thoughts and feelings, words and actions, during these days of prayer and reflection. May Christ ease our burdens, and fill us with his presence. With faith, we ask for his blessings on us and on those whom we hold close to our hearts. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Two:

Theme: Freedom from Fear

Scripture Says: "Do not fear, Mary, for you have found favor with God." (Luke 1: 30)

Mary Said: "Do not be afraid."


At her Annunciation, Mary's initial response to the presence and words of the angel was anxious fear. She could easily sympathize with the reaction of fear which overcame the two children at her sudden appearance on the Holy Mountain of La Salette. Her words, like those of the angel, were most welcome and reassuring.

Mary, who was relieved of her fears, now relieves us of our own. She who "found favor with God," in turn finds favor for us. Mary who knew the God of her ancestors as a God of power and might now encounters God in a personal and intimate way. At La Salette she speaks from that privileged relationship with God to teach us that we too are "beloved of the Father."

Saint John declares "perfect love drives out fear." (1 John 4: 18) Mary came to know that "perfect love" as her own Son. May he cast out our fear as well, and perfect his love in us. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Remember, Mother of Sorrows, how often fear keeps us from God. Lovingly guide us to Jesus, the source of grace. As we take comfort in your invitation to draw ever closer to your Son, may your words melt our hearts, dispel our fears, and increase his peace within us. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Three:

Theme: Joy

Scripture Says: "The angel of the Lord appeared to (the shepherds) and said, 'Behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'" (Luke 2: 10)

Mary Said: "I am here to tell you great news."


The good news spoken to Mary at her Annunciation brought forth a prayer of praise. This prayer, the Magnificat, not only expresses her deep joy and the conviction of her strong faith; it also recounts how God cares for and helps the needy, the downtrodden, the lost.

Like the Gospel, the message of Mary at La Salette is one of good news. Her words announce great joy-the joy of our salvation: sin is forgiven, death is destroyed, a broken world has been renewed.

The angels announced the Good News of Jesus' birth-God breaking forth into our world. Mary at La Salette reminds us that God continues to break into our world, restoring and renewing the face of the earth. This is the Good News! This is the source of our joy! (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Gentle Virgin of La Salette, you urge us to find joy in God our Savior. Gladly we hear your words and pledge to spread this good news. May our lives give glory to your Son and be filled with joy in serving Christ, now and forever. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Four:

Theme: Rest

Scripture Says: "Six days you may labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God... For remember that you too were once slaves in Egypt, and the Lord, your God, brought you from there with his strong hand and outstretched arm. That is why the Lord, your God, has commanded you to observe the sabbath day." (Deuteronomy 5: 13, 14a, 15)

Mary Said: "I gave you six days to work; I kept the seventh for myself..."


Yes, the seventh day belongs to God and God shares this gift with us. This consecrated time is meant to free us from the vicious cycle of production and consumerism. It points us to the greater reality of God's presence and our life of grace. We are restored to the divine image.

The One who made the heavens and the earth has reserved this day for himself to remind us that we are "[God's] children in Christ". (Romans 8:16) This day, then, is also meant to restore our community. In sharing the Body of Christ we are called to be the Body of Christ. We are given into one another's care as were Jesus' mother and disciple at the foot of his cross. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Faithful Virgin of La Salette, you uphold our dignity as free people and as children of God. May the Day of the Lord shine on us and give meaning to our work and our relationships so that in Jesus Christ we may give thanks to God. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Five:

Theme: True Fasting

Scripture Says: "This, rather, is the fasting that I wish: releasing those bound unjustly, untying the thongs of the yoke; setting free the oppressed, breaking every yoke; sharing your bread with the hungry, sheltering the oppressed and the homeless; clothing the naked when you see them, and not turning your back on your own." (Isaiah 58: 6-7)

Mary Said: "If the harvest is ruined, it is only on account of yourselves. I warned you last year. You paid no heed! Instead, you swore. The rest will do penance through the famine!"


Mary's message startles us to an awareness of the evils of our world and to our own indifference. Today two-thirds of the world suffers or dies from hunger. Human rights are ignored across the face of the earth and injustice lies on our very doorstep. These signs cry out for our response.

If we listen to and act upon her words and those of her Son, she promises that one day Jesus will say to us: "Come, you who are blessed by my Father. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me whatever you did for one of these least...of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25: 34a, 35-36, 40b) (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mother of Compassion, open our eyes to the sufferings of our sisters and brothers. Open our hearts and hands to share with these most needy of your children the plenteous blessings of this earth. Inspired by your words, Mary, may your people continue to nourish and heal, to love and forgive, to build the world our God desires. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Six:

Theme: Promised Blessings

Scripture Says: "The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. They will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God." (Isaiah 35: 1-2)

Mary Said: "If (my people) are converted, rocks and stones will turn into heaps of wheat..."


Jesus who opens the eyes of the blind and makes the lame dance, comes to restore us to life. The constant temptation is to harden our hearts and narrow our vision, so that we miss his very presence.

Let us come to Jesus, who is the Way to follow, the Truth to be discovered, the Life to be enjoyed and shared. He is the One who can make the desert of our heart-and of our world-bloom and bear abundant fruit.

Mary's apparition on the barren slope of La Salette has unleashed a stream of life-giving water, bearing the promise of refreshment and renewal. Heeding Mary's call to conversion makes our own lives rich and fruitful. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Virgin Reconciler, may your unceasing prayer and loving concern for us bear fruit in the constant conversion of our minds and hearts. May our lives burst forth anew with love for your Son. May we obtain the blessings you and your Son have promised and faithfully give him thanks as our Savior and Lord. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Seven:

Theme: Prayer

Scripture Says: "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." (I Thessalonians 5: 16-18)

Mary Said: "Do you say your prayers well, my children? You should say them well, at night and in the morning...(people) go to Mass just to make fun of religion. In Lent they go to the butcher shops like dogs."


The Virgin at La Salette questions us on the quality of those gestures of faith which link us to God, and serve as the source of our ongoing conversion. Each day, we are invited to express in prayer our free and constant dialogue with God. We remember the words of Jesus' own prayer: "Father...not my will but yours be done." (Luke 22: 42) Each week, we are called to celebrate the Eucharist, the central memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ. The presence of the Risen Lord in our gathering revives our faith, and helps us wait in hope until he comes again. Each year, our Lenten penance, prayer and sharing strengthens our faith. With renewed vigor, we give our lives to God daily in service to our sisters and brothers. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mary, first disciple of Jesus, make our lives a living prayer. May we always be ready to pray, to celebrate God's presence and to follow Jesus faithfully every day. Hold us close beside you in the heart of the Church, ready to share the struggles and sufferings of all your people. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Eight:

Theme: Bread of Life

Scripture Says: Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst." (John 6: 35)

Mary Said: "But you, (Maximin), surely you must have seen some (spoiled wheat) once, at (the field of) Coin...your father gave you a piece of bread and said to you: 'Here, my child, eat some bread while we still have it this year...'"


The fear of a future evil, the carefree attitude of a child, the concern of parents for their family, the sharing of bread-all details of life held in the memory and heart of the Virgin Mary at La Salette. Her solicitude invites us to trust in her concern for our welfare.

Her loving Son, Jesus, also reminded people how much our Heavenly Father watches out for our welfare. "If you, then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him." (Matthew 7:11)

The promise of shared bread and good gifts is a consoling message. This pledge reminds us that the Bread of Life willingly broke and gave himself to satisfy our deepest hunger for God. He continues to do so, and invites us to do the same. (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mother, ever attentive to our needs, awaken in us compassion for the hungry and the needy. Help us to share our Creator's concern for all human hungers-of body, heart, or spirit. Give us always a yearning for the Bread of Life, Jesus, your Son and our Lord. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Day Nine:

Theme: Our Mission

Scripture Says: Then Jesus said to them, "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of (time)." (Matthew 28: 18-20)

Mary Said: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people."


As Mary challenges and encourages us to follow her Son, she reminds us of our mission. We are to bring to the whole world the Good News of Jesus Christ. Marked by his Spirit and consecrated in truth and love, the followers of Jesus work together to advance the Kingdom of God.

The "great news" of Mary is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Like Mary, as we hear and bear the Word of God, we carry on the mission of Jesus, the mission entrusted to his apostles and to all the baptized. Such is our mission, so plain and simple that it was entrusted to two young children on the mountain of La Salette.

With maternal concern, the Virgin encourages us one final time: "Well, my children, you will make this known to all my people." (Quiet Reflection)

Our Prayer: Mother of the Church, watch over us, your people. Help us who have heard the Word of God to proclaim it in word and deed. As you were filled with the Spirit and gave birth to the Savior, may we, filled with that same Spirit, advance the kingdom of unity and peace for which Jesus gave his life on the cross. (mention your request)

Pray: the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary

Invocation: Our Lady of La Salette, Reconciler of Sinners, pray without ceasing for us who have recourse to you. (top)

Nihil Obstat: Very Rev. Timothy J. Shea, V.F. Imprimatur: Bernard Cardinal Law, Cardinal Archbishop of Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A., September 19, 1989

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Coming Persecution...

Cardinal Raymond Burke told the Catholic News Agency that he can envision a time when the Catholic Church in the United States "even by announcing her own teaching" will be accused of "engagin in illegal activity, for instance, in its teaching on human sexuality."  When asked if he could even see American Catholics being arrested for their faith he replied, "I can see it happening, yes."  See here.  This is news?

Back in June of 2005 I posted the following here at La Salette Journey:

"Those who are promoting the homosexual agenda are using time-proven tactics which have been employed by secular humanists for some time now. In the words of Ralph Martin, 'First, a plea is issued for a dominantly Christian society to 'tolerate' what appears to be a deviant behavior. Then pressure is applied to place the deviant behavior on an equal footing with traditional Christian values. Secular humanists argue that a pluralist society cannot do otherwise. They then try to make the deviant behavior seem normal and behavior governed by Christian values seem abnormal - a threat to a pluralist society. The last step is often to use the legal system to protect immorality and to undermine what Christians have always considered righteous behavior.' (A Crisis of Truth, pp. 101-102).

Professor James Hitchcock, in his excellent work entitled 'Catholicism and Modernity' (New York:Seabury Press, 1979, p. 86), explains the role of the media in this entire process: 'The media's alleged commitment to 'pluralism' is at base a kind of hoax. The banner of pluralism is raised in order to win toleration for new ideas as yet unacceptable to the majority. Once toleration has been achieved, public opinion is systematically manipulated first to enforce a status of equality between the old and the new, then to assert the superiority of the new over the old. A final stage is often the total discrediting, even sometimes the banning, of what had previously been orthodox.'

Dr. Jeff Mirus gets it. He writes, "The writing is on the wall. Gay marriage is the lie that will create the next Gulag. Indeed, gay marriage is the perfect totalitarian wedge, not least in a country like the United States, which has been capable of believing itself uniquely dedicated to liberty even in the midst of slavery and abortion. We Americans, it seems, will be quite willing to sing the praises of our liberty no matter how many of us lose it. It is our national myth, something we worship. But the cause of gay marriage fits the myth better than most issues because it really does seem that those who oppose it are denying life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to others. This denial can be accepted for the unborn, in the name of the liberty of their mothers, as it once was accepted for African Americans, who shared judicial non-personhood with the unborn. But gays are well-educated, wealthy and—above all—a logically favored projection of our moral culture. To inhibit their happiness, for any reason, seems just plain wrong.

Why should this be? First, it is necessary to note that the word “gay” refers not to those with homosexual inclinations but to those who champion behavior based on these inclinations as good. In fact, homosexuals who are not gay are a sign of contradiction to the gay world. They are scorned accordingly, in ways that even straights are not. The key to understanding the whole matter is that to be gay or to support the gay lifestyle is to approve and promote sterile sex.

The Western world in general has been hard at work promoting sterile sex for nearly a century now. We began by sanctioning the break-up of families through ever-easier divorce. Divorce is a kind of pretense that the marital covenant is ultimately sterile, in the sense that children do not matter. Next we embraced contraception so that our sexual pleasures could not be diminished through responsibility. Promiscuity inevitably followed, and with it abortion, which is simply fruitfulness in denial. We’ve covered our eyes and stopped our ears. “Nyah, nyah, nyah, I can’t SEE you! I can’t HEAR you!”

A culture like this, a culture which embraces these values, has no argument against homosexual sex, no case against homosexual marriage. A huge percentage of our marriages are deliberately and totally sterile; most of the rest are deliberately sterile much of the time. Huge numbers of marriages, by deliberate design, result neither in children to preserve the race nor in future citizens to enhance and develop the social order. There is no conceivable public interest in such unions, and no significant personal interest in them either, apart from the fuel they temporarily provide for the couple’s doomed egoism à deux.

Far from having a natural revulsion against homosexual intimacy, modern Western culture can hardly help seeing it as the jewel which crowns and protects its own warped vision of sex. We recognize and defend a right of men and women to engage in sexual intimacy without fruit. It follows that rank prejudice must be the only reason anyone could possibly oppose the same freedom between men and men or women and women.

No group is more hateful to modern society than the perceived moralistic prigs who, out of what most perceive as religiously-motivated prejudice, seek to diminish the personal sexual liberty of others. Nothing could be more obvious in our current culture than that such people must be silenced and, if necessary, restrained. Moreover, it seems only right and just that their denunciation of the gay lifestyle and their opposition to gay marriage should be criminalized. In fact, it should be criminalized in the name of liberty. That is why gay marriage is the lie that will create the next Gulag.

The insistence on ignoring vice is the hallmark of a debased culture, but the insistence that a lie be publicly affirmed as true is the hallmark of ideological totalitarianism."

Archbishop Dolan gets it now. Shocked over recent editorials demanding the restriction of religious freedom and calls to coerce religious believers to accept same-sex "marriage," the Archbishop wrote, "We do worry indeed about this freedom of religion. Editorials already call for the removal of guarantees of religious liberty, with crusaders calling for people of faith to be coerced to acceptance of this redefinition. If the experience of those few other states and countries where this is already law is any indication, the churches, and believers, will soon be harassed, threatened, and hauled into court for their conviction that marriage is between one man, one woman, forever, bringing children into the world …"

I have been warning that this was coming since the early 1990s. I have been laughed at and ridiculed for revealing the totalitarian nature of the radical homosexual movement.

Why are so many Catholics surprised that persecution is now raising its ugly head against them?  Because they have been asleep.  Didn't Pope John Paul II already warn us in Centesimus Annus that, "Authentic democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person. It requires that the necessary conditions be present for the advancement both of the individual through education and formation in true ideals, and of the 'subjectivity' of society through the creation of structures of participation and shared responsibility. Nowadays there is a tendency to claim that agnosticism and sceptical relativism are the philosophy and the basic attitude which correspond to democratic forms of political life. Those who are convinced that they know the truth and firmly adhere to it are considered unreliable from a democratic point of view, since they do not accept that truth is determined by the majority, or that it is subject to variation according to different political trends. It must be observed in this regard that if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism."

As Catholics, we need to stand up courageously for our faith.  No matter the cost.  Now more than ever as we have entered a time of unprecedented darkness.  Father Pascal Huchede explains the religious preparation, both intellectual and moral, for the time of Antichrist:

"But how shall he deprive the world of Christianity and have himself adored as God? Alas, it is only too true that the minds and hearts of men are admirably disposed for revolution and consequently ready to accept and bear the cruel yoke of such a tyrant.

Revolution as the word itself implies means a subversion, but a subversion of all that is true, good, beautiful, and grand in the universe. It is the subversion of religion, representing its dogmas as myths and its moral teachings as tyranical. It is the subversion of authority. Licentiousness under the name of liberty becomes the order of the day; each one is invested with the right to govern himself.

It is the subversion of reason: and do we not find leading minds in some of the most enlightened nations denying the principle of contradiction and maintaining the absolute identity of all beings?

Revolution is therefore essentially destructive, and it becomes cosmopolitan by the action of secret societies scattered throughout the world. Is it not true to say that the 'mystery of iniquity' is prepared in secret revolutionary dens?

But it does not suffice to destroy; it is absolutely necessary to build up again. The world cannot subsist long in a vacuum. It must have a religion; it must have a philosophy; it must have an authority. Revolution will furnish all these.

Instead of the reasonable and supernatural religion of Jesus Christ, Revolution will preach Pantheism. The God-humanity will impart the theurgic spirit and thus lead men to adore the demon as the author of universal emancipation...

What frightful immorality must follow in the train of this shameless prostitution of religion! Never has the threefold concupiscence made greater ravage among mankind. And this is the religion sought and hoped for as the cherished boon of the aspirations of our modern free thinkers.

To our Christian philosophy, the honor of humanity's revolution will substitute a babel of extravagant and absurd ideas. Instead of a mild and efficient authority consecrated alike by Church and state, despotism and anarchy will rise up and contend for the shreds of religious liberty and human policy...if the state of perversion continue for a while longer, he [Antichrist] will find the world prepared to receive and serve him." (Rev. P. Huchede, History of Antichrist, pp. 13-14, Tan Books).

Is there any Catholic [who is sane and awake] who cannot see that such preparation is well underway?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

England's new Cyber Security Strategy: Will it treat Christians who oppose homosexuality as "cyber bullies"?

England's intelligence agency GCHQ will play a key role in the new UK Cyber Security Strategy.  This new strategy was crafted, we are told, to protect against "criminals, hackers, foreign intelligence services..who want to harm us by compromising or damaging our critical data and systems."  See here.  Sounds like good news right?

But if one reads this document very carefully, a few red flags begin to emerge.  It's not only criminals, hackers and foreign intelligence services which the new Cyber Security Strategy will target by banning them from the internet, but "cyber-bullies" as well.  Here we enter a very subjective area.  What exactly is it that constitutes a "cyber-bully"?   The Human Rights Campaign [pro-homosexual] says that, "Perpetrators of cyber bullying may use personal computers or cellular phones to harass victimes through email, instant messages, online bulletin boards, websites or text messages." See here.  In other words, an individual who opposes the homosexual agenda on moral grounds at his or her website or Blog, or who argues against another individual's "gay lifestyle" at an online "bulletin board" could also be considered to be a "cyber-bully."

There is real reason for concern here.  The new UK Cyber Security Strategy, on page 39, states that it will, "Continue the process started by the London Conference on Cyberspace to establish international norms of acceptable behaviour in cyberspace."

And who or what exactly was behind the London Conference on Cyberspace?  And what does this reveal, if anything, about the approach which the UK Cyber Security Strategy will take as it works to "establish international norms of acceptable behaviour in cyberspace"?  The Conference was sponsored by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the same entity which provides travel advice for LGBT travellers.  This office tells such people:

"If you intend to frequent cruising areas or internet chat rooms find out about the local situation - police in some countries have been known to carry out entrapment campaigns."  Translation: Before you cruise for gay or lesbian sex on the internet in chat rooms, make sure you're not chatting with a police officer who is there to protect minors from being sexually assaulted by adult perverts.

Then there is this gem from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office:

"You're more likely to experience difficulties in rural areas so its best to exercise discretion."  Translation: When travelling in countries such as the United States, watch your conduct particularly in rural areas where the people are ignorant and backward because they live in the Bible Belt or because they still maintain their religious heritage and beliefs.

I don't know about you.  But I have a strong feeling that the new UK Cyber Security Strategy will find any excuse to ban internet content which is faith-based and which opposes the LGBT agenda.  What do you think?  Will cyber security soon become cyber censorship?

Read all of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice for LGBT travellers here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Cardinal O'Malley, let's give more than just lip service to the importance of Holy Mass

In a November 20 pastoral letter on the importance of Sunday Mass, Cardinal Sean O'Malley urged people not to take the Mass for granted or to allow it to become a mere routine.  Excellent advice indeed.  But we must give more than lip service to the importance of the Holy Mass and the reverence with which we ought to assist at Holy Mass.  The Council of Trent, in its Decree Concerning the Celebration of Mass (Sess. xxii) had this to say: "If we must needs confess that no other work can be performed by the Faithful so holy and divine as this tremendous is also sufficiently clear that all industry and diligence is to be applied to this end, that it be performed with the greatest possible inward cleanness and purity of heart and outward show of devotion and piety."

But this past summer the Archdiocese of Boston displayed a rather disturbing attitude toward the Holy Mass by allowing it to be used by those who engage in radical homosexual agitprop to advance the "gay agenda."  See here.  For too many Catholics today, the Holy Mass has become merely a "celebration of community" - a celebration of themselves.  Such people forget that it is the "mystery of Christ that the Church proclaims and celebrates in her liturgy so that the faithful may live from it and bear witness to it in the world: For it is in the liturgy, especially in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, that 'the work of our redemption is accomplished,' and it is through the liturgy especially that the faithful are enabled to express in their lives and manifest to others the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1068).

In his book Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, Msgr. Peter J. Elliott notes that, "All worship ought to be centered on God.  Therefore, ceremonial must lead people to God, helping them to become those who worship Him 'in spirit and in truth' (John 4: 23, 24).  Ceremonial is a means, not an end in itself.  But, as an outward form, it is normally inseparable from the content of the sacraments.  In movements, gestures, sacred actions and signs, the religious language of the body must 'speak' reverently to God and of God, and thus give glory to Him...

Reverence in every gesture expresses the faith that is within us.  It proceeds from 'wonder and awe.'  Therefore reverence on the part of the celebrant should communicate to worshippers a sense of the sacred.  Through reverence we affirm that here in this place we are in the presence of God; that here we are involved in the supreme human act for which each of us was created - giving glory to our Creator and Redeemer; that here, as living cells in the Body of Christ, we are a 'holy people.'...By reverence we give glory to God and in turn share in His grace and glory." (p. 2).

It is no secret today that the enemies of the Church want to destroy belief in the divinity of Christ. For, as Fr. Vincent Miceli, S.J., explained, "Once the liturgy is humanized, Christ the Center and Object of it becomes the humanist par excellence, the liberator, the revolutionary, the Marxist ushering in the millenium; he ceases to be the Divine Redeemer. We must be alerted to those who plan, by convincing us to abandon our sacred forms, at length to seduce us into denying our Christian faith altogether. The Church is attacked by these Sons of Satan, in and outside her fold, because she is a living form, the sacrament - sign and instrument - of communion with God and of unity among all men; because she is the visible body of Religion. Hence these shrewd masters of sedition know that when her sacred forms go, religion will also go. Violate the lex orandi and you must inevitably destroy the lex credendi. That is why they rail against so many devotions as superstitions, why they propose so many alterations and changes, a tactic cleverly calculated to shake the foundations of faith...."

The Devil hates the Eucharist and never ceases to attack Our Eucharistic Lord. He uses variations on gnosticism, symbolism and modernism to attack the authentic teaching of the Magisterium on the Holy Eucharist. As the spiritual war continues to escalate all around us, Satan's attacks against the Eucharist will multiply. There will even be physical manifestations of this hatred. These attacks will intensify and reach a crescendo with the Man of Sin. St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church, explains that: "The devil has always managed to get rid of the Mass by means of the heretics, making them precursors of the Antichrist who, above all else, will manage to abolish, and in fact will succeed in abolishing, as a punishment for the sins of men, the Holy Sacrifice of the altar, precisely as Daniel had predicted." ("Le Messa e l'Officio Strapazzati" in Opere Ascetiche).

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Syracuse Diocese touts homosexual priest and dissent supporter Father Mychal Judge as a symbol of good overcoming evil

The Catholic Sun [Syracuse, NY Diocese] reports that a sculpture depicting Father Mychal Judge was dedicated at All Saints Parish in Syracuse, New York.  The newspaper says, "Father Judge was well known in New York City for his ministry to people living with HIV and AIDS, people struggling with addictions and people living on the street. In his death, he is remembered far beyond the City. The program from the dedication affirmed that 'his life of service lived joyfully as a gay man, recovering alcoholic, committed and faithful to his priesthood, has become a symbol that ultimately good overcomes evil, prejudice, hatred and ignorance.'"

Parishioner Vincent Sgambati commented, "Was Mychal Judge more than a gay man?  Of course...I hope..lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks will learn of the sculpture and of Mychal Judge and know that he...will not be written out of history like so many others have.  And I hope they will feel proud." (See here).

Father Mychal Judge is being honored by a Catholic Parish and an entire Catholic Diocese as some sort of homosexual saint and martyr.  The sad reality is that Father Judge advanced an agenda which is in opposition to the Magisterial teaching of the Church.  This is the same priest who befriended radical homosexual activist and openly homosexual priest Father Bernard Lynch.  It was Father Lynch who described the Catholic Church as, "the most homosocial and homophobic institution in the world."  See here.

When Cardinal O'Connor expelled Dignity, the dissident Catholic-in-name only organization from St. Francis Xavier Parish, Fr. Mychal Judge - so heavily promoted by the "Rainbow Ministry" at St. Cecilia's Parish in Boston's Back Bay, provided a home for the dissident group's AIDS ministry which was led by Fr. Lynch. See here.

By painting Father Mychal Judge as saint and martyr, the Syracuse Diocese is revealing the extent of its own apostasy from the Church founded by the Lord Jesus.  Saint Augustine tells us that evil is "amor sui usque ad contemptum Dei," that is, "Evil is the love of self even to the extreme of hating God."  Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because its "popular morality" was an abomination of evil in the sight of God as were those who sought to defend this "popular morality."

Our Lord Jesus tells us, "If you wish to enter eternal life keep the commandments."  And to the woman who beatified His mother He responds, "Nay, rather blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it."  And of course, no one heard and kept the word of God better than the Immaculata.  But to these words of the King of Kings, those who promote the sodomite "gospel" respond, "If you wish to enter eternal life, follow only your own conscience." 

Pope Benedict XVI has warned that, "Conscience is understood by many as a sort of deification of subjectivity, a rock of bronze on which even the magisterium is shattered....Conscience appears finally as subjectivity raised to the ultimate standard."  It would appear that the Diocese of Syracuse, New York has succumbed to the sickness of subjectified conscience.  Faithful Catholics, however, will recall the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: "The dignity of the human person implies and requires uprightness of moral conscience.  Conscience includes the perception of the principles of morality (synderesis); their application in the given circumstances by practical discernment of reasons and goods; and finally judgment about concrete acts yet to be performed or already performed.  The truth about the moral good, stated in the law of reason, is recognized practically and concretely by the prudent judgment of conscience.  We call that man prudent who chooses in conformity with this judgment." (CCC, 1780).  And again: "Conscience must be informed and moral judgment enlightened.  A well-formed conscience is upright and truthful.  It formulates its judgments according to reason, in conformity with the true good willed by the wisdom of the Creator.  The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are subjected to negative influences and tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings." (CCC, 1783).

Pray for the Syracuse Diocese!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Do we really know what makes for peace?

Our Lord wept over Jerusalem and said, "If only you knew what makes for peace" (Lk 19:42). And now we do know (those of us who are Christian in more than name). Only a life lived in conformity with the mind of Christ as shown to us by His Catholic Church can bring true peace. By contrast, "Pride inflates man; envy consumes him; avarice makes him restless; anger rekindles his passions; gluttony makes him ill; comfort destroys him; lies imprison him; murder defiles him...the very pleasures of sin become the instruments of punishment in the hands of God." (Pope Innocent III, On the Misery of the Human Condition).

It is our duty as Catholics to remind others of these truths and to expose those who are promoting sin or error. But often we will find ourselves being criticized (even by other Catholics, whose commitment toward Catholic teaching is, at best, questionable) for doing so. This should never deter us. When such people accuse us of "negativity," [or even as "threatening peace and order"], we should recall the words of Dr. Dietrich von Hildebrand: "..the rejection of evil and of sin is a response which is purely positive and morally called for, and it possesses a high moral value. One cannot truly love God, without hating the devil. One cannot really love the truth, without hating error. One cannot find the truth and grasp it clearly as such, without seeing through errors. Knowledge of truth is inseparably linked with knowledge of error, with the unmasking of error.* All talk about the superiority of 'yes' over 'no,' about the 'negativity' of rejecting that which should be rejected, is so much idle chatter." (The Cult of the 'Positive').

Indeed, as John Cardinal Newman said in his Grammar of Assent, "I would maintain that fear of error is simply necessary to the genuine love of truth." In his Introduction to the Devout Life, that precious and popular work, St. Francis de Sales, a Doctor of the Church, says that, "If the declared enemies of God and of the Church ought to be blamed and censured with all possible vigor, charity obliges us to cry wolf when the wolf slips into the midst of the flock and in every way and place we may meet him."

Pope John XXIII said essentially the same thing: " long as we are journeying in exile over this earth, our peace and happiness will be imperfect. For such peace is not completely untroubled and serene; it is active, not calm and motionless. In short, this is a peace that is ever at war. It wars with every sort of error, including that which falsely wears the face of truth; it struggles against the enticements of vice, against those enemies of the soul, of whatever description, who can weaken, blemish, or destroy our innocence or Catholic faith." (Ad Petri Cathedram No. 93).

Pope Paul VI, in his Apostolic Exhortation Recurrens Mensis October (The recurrence of the month of October), 1969, said that, "Undoubtedly, peace is the concern of men and a good common to all.  As such, it must be the constant care of everyone...Despite much good will, there are many interests in opposition; much selfishness is shown; many antagonisms increase; many rivalries conflict with one another.  Who does not see, then, the unflagging action demanded from each and all in order that love may triumph over discord and that peace may be restored to the city of men?"

There is no peace without God.  And no peace without prayer.  Which is why there is no peace among men.  Most men do not pray - even many of those who give lip service to prayer.  Pope Paul VI continues, "..peace is also the concern of God.  He has placed in our hearts the ardent desire for peace.  He urges us to work toward it, each doing his share, and for that purpose He sustains our feeble energies and our vacillating wills.  He alone can give us a peaceful soul, and confirm in depth and solidity our efforts for peace.  Prayer, by which we ask for the gift of peace, is therefore an irreplaceable contribution to the establishment of peace.  It is through Christ, in whom all grace is given us, that we dispose ourselves to welcome the gift of peace.  And in that undertaking, how can we do otherwise than to depend lovingly upon the incomparable intercession of Mary, His Mother, of whom the Gospel tells us that she 'found favor with God'?"

Our Lady is Mother of the Prince of Peace.  And the Prince of Peace has assured us that we can do nothing without Him.  Do we believe this?  If so, we will dispose ourselves to welcome the gift of peace by devoting ourselves to prayer - especially the Holy Rosary.

A call to false irenicism is not the answer.  Sticking our heads in the sand of denial and pretending "all is well" is not the answer.  Selfishness and self-will, obstacles to authentic peace, are overcome only through constant prayer.  As Pope Benedict XVI explained back in 2009: "Conflict and lack of reconciliation in the world stem from the fact that we are locked into our own interests and opinions, into our own little private world. Selfishness, both individual and collective, makes us prisoners of our interests and our desires that stand against the truth and separate us from one another. Awake, the Gospel tells us. Step outside, so as to enter the great communal truth, the communion of the one God. To awake, then, means to develop a receptivity for God: for the silent promptings with which he chooses to guide us; for the many indications of his presence..." (Christmas homily 2009).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Obama administration accused of illegally using using US funds to promote abortion in Kenya

400,000 in US funds was funneled to the International Development Law Organization.  At its website, the IDLO says that it "uses a variety of programs to reach its objectives.  These programs are fully consistent with the 2005 UN Summit and the Millenium Development Declaration.  We read in No. 58 of this document, pp. 16-17:

Gender equality and empowerment of women

58. We remain convinced that progress for women is progress for all. We reaffirm

that the full and effective implementation of the goals and objectives of the Beijing

Declaration and Platform for Action22 and the outcome of the twenty-third special

session of the General Assembly is an essential contribution to achieving the

internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the

Millennium Declaration, and we resolve to promote gender equality and eliminate

pervasive gender discrimination by:

(a) Eliminating gender inequalities in primary and secondary education by

the earliest possible date and at all educational levels by 2015;

(b) Guaranteeing the free and equal right of women to own and inherit

property and ensuring secure tenure of property and housing by women;


21 World Health Assembly resolution 58.3.

22 Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, 4-15 September 1995 (United Nations

publication, Sales No. E.96.IV.13), chap. I, resolution 1, annexes I and II.


(c) Ensuring equal access to reproductive health;

(d) Promoting women’s equal access to labour markets, sustainable

employment and adequate labour protection;

(e) Ensuring equal access of women to productive assets and resources,

including land, credit and technology;

(f) Eliminating all forms of discrimination and violence against women and

the girl child, including by ending impunity and by ensuring the protection of

civilians, in particular women and the girl child, during and after armed conflicts in

accordance with the obligations of States under international humanitarian law and

international human rights law;

(g) Promoting increased representation of women in Government decision making

bodies, including through ensuring their equal opportunity to participate

fully in the political process.

59. We recognize the importance of gender mainstreaming as a tool for achieving

gender equality. To that end, we undertake to actively promote the mainstreaming of

a gender perspective in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of

policies and programmes in all political, economic and social spheres, and further

undertake to strengthen the capabilities of the United Nations system in the area of

Empowerment of women is tied to "equal access to reproductive health."  And by "access to reproductive health," of course, is meant access to abortion.  The problem is that the allocation of US funds to lobby for abortion in other countries is illegal.  The Siljander amendment, an annually renewed law which prohibits US foreign assistance funds from being used to lobby for or against abortion (Source: FY 2006 Appropriations Act, Title II, "Child Survival and Health Programs Fund" and/or Title V, Section 518), was ignored by the Obama administration.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What the Penn State scandal shows....

In a post published back in April of 2010, and which may be found here, I asked the question, "When will the media acknowledge the fact that the sexual abuse of children is not a 'Catholic problem'?"  This post highlighted the fact that the sexual abuse of children is a far greater problem outside the Church than within it and that children are in fact much safer with a Catholic priest than with males in the general population where the rate of sexual abuse is much higher.  Statistics do not lie.

Many in the media who have largely ignored this fact are deeply shocked over the Penn State scandal.  But why is this so?  Why are so many Americans outraged over what happened at Penn State when they have been (for the most part) uninterested in the sexual abuse which has occured in the public schools?  As I said in my post last year: In her report prepared for the U.S. Department of Education entitled "Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of Existing Literature," Charol Shakeshaft explains that, "This analysis indicates that 9.6 percent of all students in grades 8 to 11 report contact and/or noncontact educator sexual misconduct that was unwanted." (p. 25). And then Ms. Shakeshaft puts this percentage in a proper perspective: "To get a sense of the extent of the number of students who have been targets of educator sexual misconduct, I applied the percent of students who report experiencing educator sexual misconduct to the population of all K-12 students. Based on the assumption that the AAUW surveys accurately represent the experiences of all K-12 students, more than 4.5 million students are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between kindergarten and 12th grade. Possible limitations of the study would all suggest that the findings reported here under-estimate educator sexual misconduct in schools." (p. 26).

Full Shakeshaft report may be found here.

I believe the answer is that, for many, sports has become a religion.  Dr. Leon Podles, in his book "The Church Impotent," explains that, "Because sports provide an initiation into masculinity, they can easily become a religion.  Sports are often the way the boy puts away the soft, sheltering world of the mother and her femininity and enters the world of challenge and danger that makes him a man...For modern men, team sports are more transforming than religion because they provide a greater escape from the self.  Paul Jones, a Dulwich boy who was killed in World War I, claimed that in the attempts to develop team spirit, 'Religion has failed, intellect has failed, art has failed, science has failed.  It is clear why: because each of these has laid emphasis on man's selfish side; the saving of his own soul, the cultivation of his own mind, the pleasing of his own senses.  But your sportsman joins the Colours because in his games he has felt the real spirit of unselfishness, and has become accustomed to give all for a body to whose service he is sworn.'  Sports on this view are a better school of charity than religion, for the ultimate test of charity is the willingness to die in war...Although most players and spectators would not seriously call sports a religion, it nevertheless functions as one for them.  It is 'a secular means for tapping transcendental sources and powers, or restoring some fleeting contact with the sacred, or testing whether the gods are on your side or not.'  Michael Novak regards sports as a natural religion.  Charles Prebish also thinks "sports is religion for growing numbers of Americans.'  Religion enables man to transcend the secular, ordinary world; sports are the way that many men attain this transcendence, whether directly as an athlete or vicariously as a spectator.." (The Church Impotent, pp. 168-169).

Many men no longer go to Church because they regard any involvement in religion to be unmasculine and even effeminate.  And normal, healthy men want to be masculine.  Many of these have embraced sports as a substitute religion.  The Penn State scandal is, therefore, all the more shocking to those who have distanced themselves from churches which have been dominated from feminism and homosexual propaganda and which have been largely effeminized.  The idea of a football coach showering with boys and performing oral sex on them cannot be reconciled with the masculine ideals which are an intrinsic part of sports.

Dr. Podles notes in his book that, "Christianity revealed that the masculine identity was open to all: in Christ there was no longer male or female all could become sons of the Father by the grace of adoption.  In the first millennium the masculine character of Christianity was clear.  The church of the martyrs gave way to the church of the monks, but it remained clear that to be Christian involved a profound and heroic struggle, which was perhaps more natural to men, but which was also opened up to women.  Men have a natural understanding of the process of and the need for conversion.  They know from their childhood experiences and their inculcation in the ideology of masculinity the importance of dying to the old self and being reborn as a new self....Conversion can lead men into the Church, but the Church they enter must also have a spirituality that allows them to be both men and Christians - they cannot be real Christians unless they become real men.."

The Christian churches must offer men a spirituality which allows them to be men.  Until they do, many men will continue to pursue masculine ideals elsewhere.  But what the Penn State scandal has shown us is that even the "religion" of sports - the natural "religion" which so many men hold dear - is not immune to the problems which have surfaced within certain segments of the Church.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Catholics should not donate monies to CCHD. For to do so would constitute formal cooperation in an immoral project

In a letter to Mr. Paul Rondeau, the Executive Director of American Life League, Dr. William Marshner, a moral theologian who teaches at Christendom College, explains why Catholics should refrain from donating monies to the "Catholic" Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).  He writes, "..the funding of an organization is formal cooperation in what it regularly does.  But in Catholic moral theology, it is never licit to cooperate formally in an immoral project." (See here).

And, in the same letter, Dr. Marshner, referring to the report on CCHD's development grants for the fiscal year 2010-2011 prepared by Reform CCHD Now, writes, "Your Report has documented at least 11 cases which, in my judgment, are cases in which prima facie the grantee has done or promoted an immoral activity.

These cases are:

Centro Campesino (granted $35 K), which distributes condoms, as CCHD now admits; it claims to have defunded the group, but evidence for this correct decision is not yet forthcoming; the bishops are owed an explanation of what exactly has been done;

Somos un Pueblo Unido (granted $45 K), which trains immigrant women to advocate “reproductive justice” (i.e. contraception and abortion) and which took from other sources at least two grants to do so; CCHD has yet to explain its lack of response to this information;

NY City AIDS Housing Network (granted $30 K) which is listed on an NYC government website as a place to get condoms; CCHD has yet to explain its lack of response;

Southwest Organizing Project (granted $ 45 K); which is involved in the Elev8 sex-ed program, which distributes condoms and IUDs and refers for abortions at Marquette Middle School in Chicago; CCHD was informed of this problem by its own regional director, Mr. Ray Florez; to date, CCHD has explained neither its lack of response nor its termination of Mr. Florez;

Desis Rising Up and Moving (granted $ 35 K), which advocates and participates in groups advocating sexual “liberation” and abortion;

Michigan Interfaith Voice, A.K.A. Gamaliel of Michigan (granted $ 25 K), which has taken grants from the pro-abortion and pro-homosexual Arcus Foundation to advance Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual and Trans-sexual (LGBT) rights, which include a “right” to be legally “married”;

Michigan Organizing Project (granted $40 K), which has taken grants from the Arcus Foundation for the same purpose in 2007-2009 and in 2011;

Coalition LA (granted $45 K), which produced a voters’ guide favoring same-sex marriage and telling people to vote NO on the ballot-measure to repeal it; the issue here is not just how the state will treat homosexual persons but whether state law will abandon the meaning of the word ‘marriage’, contrary to Catholic doctrine;

Women’s Community Revitalization Project ($40 K), which sponsored a pro-abortion voter’s guide in Pennsyl-vania and took money from a feminist, pro-abortion organization called Women’s Way; CCHD was informed of this problem in 2009 but re-funded the group in 2010; since the bishops of PA have played an historic role in the pro-life cause, they are certainly owed a specific explanation of this payment to their declared enemy;

Philadelphia Unemployment Project (given $25 K), which, despite its good work toward issues of workers’ compensation, sponsored the same kind of pro-abortion voter’s guide; in a state as heavily Catholic and Democratic as Pennsylvania, it passes belief that the Church cannot find a pro-labor organization that keeps fully clear of the culture of death;

Restaurant Opportunities Center of NY (given $40 K), which produced “guidelines” telling businesses to make questionable accommodations to LGBT preferences, including permission to cross-dress during work-hours and to choose whichever lavatory suited the worker’s subjective preference.

In every one of these cases, the grantee has behaved in such a way that continued funding puts the Church in a position of formal cooperation (or in the apparent and proximate danger of formal cooperation) with moral evil."
Dr. Germain Grisez explains that formal cooperation in other's wrong acts is always wrong.  He writes, "Cooperation is formal in the following three kinds of cases: (i) one intends or one's purpose includes that another commit a sin; (ii) one shares the other's wrong intention, in the sense that the proposal one adopts - that is, precisely what one chooses to do - includes something (and perhaps everything) objectively wrong in the other's proposal; or (iii) one's proposal includes the other's successfully carrying out an objectively wrong choice.
In all these cases, one wills moral evil; thus, formal cooperation of all three kinds is always wrong.  It occurs in the first way, for example, when a misguided counselor encourages a person to commit embarassing sins, imagining that this will lead to his or her spiritual growth; in the second way, when a nurse who favors abortion volunteers her service in an abortion clinic, in order to help women seeking abortions to get them; in the third way, when an inspector takes bribes to approve faulty construction, wishing the fraud to succeed so that the bribery will not be exposed.
Formal cooperation with others' sinful acts can be by means of an omission.  For instance, a police officer who ignores criminal activities in order to obtain a percentage of the proceeds intends the success of the criminal act; thus, he or she formally cooperates with them by omitting the police work that would impede them."
Catholic priests who are faithful to the Church's teaching and who have a genuine love for souls will not ask the faithful entrusted to their care to donate monies to the "Catholic" Campaign for Human Development.  To do so is to ask faithful Catholics to formally cooperate in an immoral project.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts: Why would it have us believe that funding for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development won't be used to promote dissent from Catholic teaching?

Once again, the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts is promoting the "Catholic" Campaign for Human Development.  This is most alarming since the CCHD, an organization which was inspired by radical agitator Saul Alinsky, a Marxist who dedicated his Rules for Radicals to Lucifer, whom he called "the first radical," is an umbrella organization and/or a front for various groups which dissent from the Church's authentic teaching. Especially in the area of sexual morality.

According to American Life League's Michael Hichborn, " less than fifty organizations (one-fifth of all CCHD grantees from 2009) are, in some capacity, engaged in pro-abortion or pro-homosexual causes." See here.

At its website, the Springfield Diocese asserts that, "The activity for which funding is requested must conform to the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church. Organizations that receive CCHD funds must not participate in or promote activities that contradict the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church and must in no way work against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ priorities to defend human life and dignity, strengthen family life and the institution of marriage, and foster diversity. For example, organizations that support or promote same-sex marriage, discrimination, capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, or punitive measures towards immigrants are not eligible for CCHD funding.

The organization must be fully nonpartisan when engaging in political activities. Organizations engaged in partisan political activity are not eligible." (See here).

But, as this website documents in its 2010-2011 CCHD Grants Report:

For a number of years, there has been concern with the grants that CCHD distributes. There have been specific complaints that a significant portion of the grants have been given to organizations working in direct contradiction to Church teaching.

In 2009, American Life League joined with several other concerned organizations to form the Reform CCHD Now Coalition. In March of 2010, the coalition sent a report on CCHD to each bishop, showing that, in 2009–2010, 51 out of 237 groups receiving CCHD funding either directly or through coalition membership promoted abortion, birth control, homosexuality, and/or Marxism. Thus, 21% of the groups funded by CCHD were involved in such work.

As a result of this activity, CCHD conducted an internal effort to revamp its grant process and ensure that all grantees adhered to strict guidelines. The results were published in a CCHD Renewal Document.

2010–2011 Grantees

In January, 2011, CCHD published its list of 2010-2011 grantees. At that time, American Life League reviewed the list and was disappointed to see that many of the offending organizations were still on the list and, in fact, others have been added.

The attached report documents that, of the 218 organizations funded by CCHD, 14 are directly involved in activities contrary to Church teaching and 40 are actively involved in coalitions with such activities. Thus, 54 groups (24%) funded by CCHD are involved in anti-Catholic work.

The number, and percentage, of offending organizations has actually INCREASED in the last year —from 51 to 54 groups and from 21% to 24%.

These 54 organizations received a total of $1,863,000 of the $7,608,000 distributed in CCHD grants in 2010-2011."

The number and percentage of offending/dissenting organizations receiving CCHD monies has actually increased since 2009.  In 2011, 14 organizations funded by CCHD are directly involved in activities which are contrary to Catholic teaching and another 40 are actively involved and associated with coalitions in support of such activities.

And the Diocese of Springfield would have us believe that such is not the case.  Perhaps diocesan officials should meditate very carefully upon the eigth chapter of the Gospel of John verse 44.   In a speech given on March 21, 2009 in Detroit, Archbishop Charles Chaput, having been asked to examine what November 2008 and its aftermath can teach Catholics about American culture, the state of American Catholicism and the kind of Pauline discipleship necessary today, said that, "November showed us that 40 years of American Catholic complacency and poor formation are bearing exactly the fruit we should have expected. Or to put it more discreetly, the November elections confirmed a trend, rather than created a new moment, in American culture."

 And noting that there was no question about President Barack Obama’s views on abortion "rights," embryonic stem cell research and other "problematic issues," His Excellency said that, "Some Catholics in both political parties are deeply troubled by these issues. But too many Catholics just don’t really care. That’s the truth of it. If they cared, our political environment would be different. If 65 million Catholics really cared about their faith and cared about what it teaches, neither political party could ignore what we believe about justice for the poor, or the homeless, or immigrants, or the unborn child. If 65 million American Catholics really understood their faith, we wouldn’t need to waste each other’s time arguing about whether the legalized killing of an unborn child is somehow ‘balanced out’ or excused by three other good social policies.”

Then His Excellency offered a stunning indictment of American "Catholicism":

"We need to stop over-counting our numbers, our influence, our institutions and our resources, because they’re not real. We can’t talk about following St. Paul and converting our culture until we sober up and get honest about what we’ve allowed ourselves to become. We need to stop lying to each other, to ourselves and to God by claiming to ‘personally oppose’ some homicidal evil -- but then allowing it to be legal at the same time." See full text here.

Let's all pray that the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts will take these words to heart and stop lying to faithful Catholics.

Related reading here and here.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

"Value comes not from what a person 'has' much as from what a person 'is'"

In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, No. 37, Pope John Paul II reminded us that, "To rediscover and make others rediscover the inviolable dignity of every human person makes up an essential task, in a certain sense, the central and unifying task of the service which the Church, and the lay faithful in her, are called to render to the human family. Among all other earthly beings, only a man or a woman is a 'person', a conscious and free being and, precisely for this reason, the 'center and summit' of all that exists on the earth.

The dignity of the person is the most precious possession of an individual. As a result, the value of one person transcends all the material world. The words of Jesus, 'For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and to forfeit his life?' (Mk 8:36) contain an enlightening and stirring statement about the individual: value comes not from what a person 'has' even if the person possessed the whole world!-as much as from what a person 'is': the goods of the world do not count as much as the good of the person, the good which is the person individually.

The dignity of the person is manifested in all its radiance when the person's origin and destiny are considered: created by God in his image and likeness as well as redeemed by the most precious blood of Christ, the person is called to be a 'child in the Son' and a living temple of the Spirit, destined for the eternal life of blessed communion with God. For this reason every violation of the personal dignity of the human being cries out in vengeance to God and is an offence against the Creator of the individual.

In virtue of a personal dignity the human being is always a value as an individual, and as such demands being considered and treated as a person and never, on the contrary, considered and treated as an object to be used, or as a means, or as a thing.

The dignity of the person constitutes the foundation of the equality of all people among themselves. As a result all forms of discrimination are totally unacceptable, especially those forms which unfortunately continue to divide and degrade the human family, from those based on race or economics to those social and cultural, from political to geographic, etc. Each discrimination constitutes an absolutely intolerable injustice, not so much for the tensions and the conflicts that can be generated in the social sphere, as much as for the dishonour inflicted on the dignity of the person: not only to the dignity of the individual who is the victim of the injustice, but still more to the one who commits the injustice."

Vatican II, in its Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity (Apostolicam Actuositatem), has this to say: "The laity derive the right and duty to the apostolate from their union with Christ the head; incorporated into Christ's Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, they are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord himself." (No. 3).  And in No. 4, this same document explains that, "This plan for the spiritual life of the laity should take its particular character from their married or family state or their single or widowed state.."

What is the point I'm trying to make?  That single people, like those whose vocation is to marriage, are also called to the apostolate.  But one wouldn't know this when one examines the way in which single people are often treated in the Church.  Father Pat Umberger has noted that, "Being single. For some of us it is the way we live our Vocation. For others it is a temporary state. For some it brings much joy. For others sadness and a feeling of incompleteness. Not all single folks are called to a Vocation of priesthood or consecrated life. Single people come in all age ranges, from the 20's through old age. Single people have needs and goals. We don't always fit into the society we live in. Sometimes there is a perception that we cannot be happy or fulfilled while we are single. We can buy into that perception. The Church can be quite helpful to us. Sometimes it can hinder us as well.  It is true that much is said about married life, children, teenagers and other groups within the Church, but not much about single people. The Church can unconsciously discriminate against single people by sponsoring mostly "couples only" events, inviting "families" to bring up the gifts, or seeing singles as the pool from which to draw helpers to complete tasks nobody else wants to do."

I have personally experienced this through the years.  Only recently I joined another parish, immediately registered, and noted both on the registration form and to the parish secretary, that I would like to volunteer at the parish.  I never did hear from anyone.  This is not the first time I have experienced such animus. Single people are often viewed as being somehow "inadequate," even within the Church.  We are often seen as being somehow peculiar because we live celibate lives and concern ourselves primarily with building up the Kingdom of God here on earth. We are often excluded and written off at the parish level as if the Lord Jesus couldn't possibly find any use for us. This attitude is far from Catholic.  Pope Benedict XVI said recently that, "The Lord has a plan for each of us; he calls each one of us by name. Our task is to learn how to listen, to perceive his call, to be courageous and faithful in following him and, when all is said and done, to be found trustworthy servants who have used well the gifts given us."

And if we are discouraged from participating in the life of the Church by those entrusted with leadership positions in the Church; if we are discriminated against because we do not measure up to their idea of "value," those who excluded us will have to render an account to the Lord Jesus and to explain why they scattered when they should have been gathering.

Will they be accounted as profitable servants?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Charity begins at home....or should

Today is Veteran's Day.  And while many are enjoying the best of everything this country has to offer, many are not.  25 percent of homeless men in this country are veterans.  Apparently we are content with this situation because it is only getting worse.  My father served in Korea and during the Vietnam conflict.  He was career military.  But when he needed a hearing aid, he was denied one.  We treat veterans in this country much like disposable razors: we discard them after use.

It was Henry James who said, "I think patriotism is like charity - it begins at home."  But we have forgotten this.  We spend countless millions helping illegal aliens in this country but we still neglect to treat veterans with dignity.

Let's all pray that homeless veterans will one day be treated with at least the same respect which we afford to homeless animals.   Until we begin to respect all life, both within the womb and without, we have no right to expect God's blessing.  We only deceive ourselves if we believe otherwise.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Over at America Magazine online, Michael O'Loughlin asserts that Catholics faithful to the Magisterial teaching of the Church are loud and uncharitable

In an article published at America Magazine online, and which may be found here, Michael O'Loughlin writes:  "I've read a couple different stories over the last few days that offer a glimpse into the polarization of the Catholic Church on certain issues, in this case homosexuality and the place of gay people in the Church.

First was the news that The Pilot, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston, ran an opinion column in which Daniel Avila, an employee of the USCCB, said that homosexuality may well be the work of the devil. From the SFGate:

In the column, Avila says 'the scientific evidence of how same-sex attraction most likely may be created provides a credible basis for a spiritual explanation that indicts the devil.' It also says 'disruptive imbalances in nature that thwart encoded processes point to supernatural actors who, unlike God, do not have the good of persons at heart.' It says that when 'natural causes disturb otherwise typical biological development, leading to the personally unchosen beginnings of same-sex attraction, the ultimate responsibility, on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one, not God.'

Both Avila and The Pilot apologized for the column; The Pilot said the claim was contradictory to Church teaching and presented theological errors. Today, the USCCB said that it had accepted Avila's offer to resign.

Regardless of Avila's official employment status with the Catholic Church, it is clear that some within the Church still believe that gay men and women are demonic; are less than images of God; and are not worthy of the dignity that by the Church's own teachings should be afforded to all human beings. It is doubtful that Avila's views are unique to him.

Now contrast that with this story from the Chicago Tribune that profiles Anthony Alfano, the first openly gay student body president of DePaul University, the nation's largest Roman Catholic university. From the article:

When Alfano ran for student government president last spring, he didn't make special note of being gay. His closest friends knew, and that seemed enough. Over the summer, though, he decided he owed it to other young gay people to be more candid, so he opened up in the student newspaper last week, despite worrying about how his candor might affect his conservative Catholic family.

"This story needs to be shared," he said. "It's for the gay youth, especially those thinking about taking their lives. I want to let them know I'm in a position of influence at a Catholic university, the largest Catholic university in the country, and I have all this support. I want to tell them, 'You can come out too.'"

Alfano, of course, has his detractors, but he says that his experience has been overwhelmingly positive, with support from the University community. It is a credit to Catholic universities in the US, beacons of hope for Catholics here, that DePaul released this statement:

'Anthony is a remarkable young man and student leader,' said an official DePaul statement, 'and we hope that his candor helps other young people facing these issues to feel comfortable discussing their orientation with family and friends.'

The Catholic Church in the US is a big tent if there ever were one, so it is not surprising that the range of opinions on certain subjects is wide. These two anecdotes offer a glimpse into that range. Though it would be naive to use them to make too large a claim, it is hopeful that the individuals involved in the DePaul story represent the generation that will supplant those involved in the first episode.

Taken together, these two stories represent my own experience in the Church. There are the few who readily denounce those who are different from the norm. But alongside those individuals are the many who stand ready to welcome people where they are, to affirm their gifts, and to walk alongside them without judgement or callousness. Sadly it seems that the few have the loudest mics available to them. But when I search just a bit, it's not too difficult to find the many, and that is where the Church truly lives."

Mr. O'Loughlin, like many of his intellectually-challenged counterparts in the world of "liberal Catholicism," suffers from an almost irreversible condition we Frenchmen call "grosse tete et peu de sens" - big head and little wit.  It is almost impossible to produce the slightest crack in the wall of conviction which such intellectually-cramped characters have constructed around their own opinions.  Nor should this come as a surprise.  For the rejection of episteme inevitably leads to the worship of doxa.  But faithful Catholics understand, even if these mental and moral midgets do not, that the question of who speaks for the Church has already been resolved: "the task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed on, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ. This teaching office is not above the word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been handed on, listening to it devoutly, guarding it scrupulously and explaining it faithfully in accord with a divine commission and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it draws from this one deposit of faith everything which it presents for belief as divinely revealed." (Dei Verbum, No. 10).

As for O'Loughlin's idiotic suggestion that those who condone homosexual behavior constitute the "the loving many," this is nothing more than the regurgitated asinine artifice employed by those who advance the radical homosexual agenda.  This cheap tactic ignores the truth that from the Catholic standpoint [aka, the rational standpoint] compassion is only true when it aims at the real good of one's neighbor.  And the greatest good is his eternal salvation.

Mr. O'Loughlin's piece is long on emotional appeal but short on substance.  Which is probably why we find it at America Magazine.  Such articles are its stock and trade.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Some of Daniel Avila's critics promote doctrines of demons...

Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director of the demonic organization "DignityUSA," and others associated with her dissent group, have issued a statement regarding Daniel Avila's opinion piece on same-sex attraction which was removed from The Pilot, Boston's Archdiocesan newspaper.  The statement says (in part):

"The comments made by Mr. Avila are outrageous, and have no place in any official Catholic communication vehicle. While we appreciate his apology, both he and officials from the Archdiocese of Boston have inflicted tremendous damage on the souls and psyches of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and our families. There are still many people, both Catholic and non-Catholic, who will find validation for misguided beliefs about gay people because this material was allowed to be published in the Boston Pilot."

This is the same Marianne Duddy-Burke who called upon the Catholic Church to abandon its teaching that homosexual acts are intrinsically evil acts and who said that,  "As long as the doctrine stands [Catholic doctrine which defines marriage as a heterosexual union and which says that homosexual acts are acts of grave depravity], it makes it really hard for the pastoral and the doctrinal aspects of our faith not to come into a clash...The people of the church are changing, and by and large very affirming of gay people, and the hierarchy and the doctrine are lagging behind."  See here.

Now as Michael Brown has reported, "Father Gabriele Amorth, the official exorcist in Rome, has warned that wanton consumerism, sexual promiscuity, the occult, abortion, and homosexuality have caused a tremendous outbreak of demonic activity at a time when the Church has stripped itself of weapons to fight it." And one might add: at a time when the homosexual movement is engulfing our society like a plague.  Father Jeffrey Steffon warns that, "Satan tries to deceive, entice, enslave, torment (bring into bondage), drive human beings away from God, or defile them even if they are baptized...A major tactic of Satan is to attack our minds and thoughts.  He wants to deceive us for '..there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.' (John 8:44)...The followers of Jesus must always be alert because 'the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.' (1 Tm 4:1)." (Satanism: Is It Real, p. 38).

Deceitful spirits.  Recall Father John Unni and the "Rainbow Ministry" over at Saint Cecilia's Parish in Boston.  One blogger who challenges the Church's teaching has written that, "For those who are dealing with the Catholic church specifically, it is also useful to recognise that for all its apparently homophobic teaching, in its internal culture it is in fact a Homoerotic Catholic Church. It could also be helpful to know that for all the negative material that has come from the modern Vatican, there have in fact been several popes who have either enjoyed their own sexual relationships with men, or who have protected relatives who have done so, or who have lavished generous papal commissions on notable gay artists to produce frankly homoerotic art. Read about some of these in Gay Popes, Papal Sodomites...It is important though to understand the more serious side of Catholic theology, and how it is changing." (See here).

Because we live in an overly-secularized culture, we tend to intellectualize everything while ignoring the supernatural dimension.  We are living in a time of diabolical disorientation.  It is important that we do not forget this and that we have recourse to daily prayer (especially the Holy Rosary) as well as living a sacramental life.  We must arm ourselves with deliverance prayers, sacramentals such as Holy Water and Blessed Salt.  We fight an enemy many choose to believe - at their own peril - does not exist.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Daniel Avila is out. But what about Father John Unni and those who have promoted the idea of "Gay Pride"?

As most of you probably know by now, Daniel Avila, policy adviser for marriage and family to the U.S. Bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage since June 20, has offered his immediate resignation because of an opinion piece which he wrote and which was published in the October 28th edition of The Pilot, Boston's archdiocesan newspaper.

In his opinion piece, Mr. Avila linked same-sex attraction with the Devil.  Specifically, he wrote, "the ultimate responsibility [for same-sex attraction], on a theological level, is and should be imputed to the evil one." See here. Now, Mr. Avila should have known better.  After all, we read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that homosexuality's "psychological genesis remains largely unexplained." (CCC, 2357).

But even more disturbing is the lack of concern within the Boston Archdiocese - and beyond - in the very real spiritual consequences which may indeed result from homosexual acts and behavior.  We read in Father Jeffrey Steffon's excellent book "Satanism: Is It Real?": "How does a person become open for demonic oppression?  Fr. Richard McAlear and Mrs. Betty Brennan, experts in demonic oppression, indicate four ways it can happen: First, a demonic spirit can attach itself to a person through a wound or trauma.  Fr. McAlear calls this a ministering spirit.  Secondly, a spirit can attach itself to a person through a repeated sinful action or sinful tendencies.  This is a cardinal spirit.  Oneway to remember some cardinal spirits is to remember the capital sins - that is, lust, pride, gluttony, sloth, envy, covetousness, and anger.  These sins are against the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance, and fortitude.  These virtues are the hinges of other virtues.  Just as other virtues are in some way tied to the four cardinal virtues, so some spirits are tied to, or hinge upon, the cardinal spirits." (Satanism: Is It Real?, p. 169).

An evil spirit can attach itself to a person through a repeated sinful action or sinful tendencies.  Let's reflect on those words very carefully.  Does this not include homosexual acts?  Of course it does.  In fact, Saint Peter Damian, Doctor of the Church, describing the homosexual vice in his Book of Gomorrah, tells us that: "Truly, this vice is never to be compared with any other vice because it surpasses the enormity of all vices...It defiles everything, stains everything, pollutes everything.  And as for itself, it permits nothing pure, nothing clean, nothing other than filth...The miserable flesh burns with the heat of lust; the cold mind trembles with the rancor of suspicion; and in the heart of the miserable man chaos boils like Tartarus [Hell]...In fact, after this most poisonous serpent once sinks its fangs into the unhappy soul, sense is snatched away, memory is borne off, the sharpness of the mind is obscured.  It becomes unmindful of God and even forgetful of itself.  This plague undermines the foundation of faith, weakens the strength of hope, destroys the bond of charity; it takes away justice, subverts fortitude, banishes temperance, blunts the keenness of prudence.  And what more should I say since it expels the whole host of the virtues from the chamber of the human heart and introduces every barbarous vice as if the bolts of the doors were pulled out." (St. Peter Damian, Book of Gomorrah, Pierre J. Payer, trans., Wilfrid Laurier University Press, pp. 63-64).

But when Father John Unni of the Boston Archdiocese urged his homosexual parishioners to "shed the burden of shame" while his parish prepared to celebrate "Gay Pride," the Boston Archdiocese defended the priest and stood by his actions.  Those Catholics faithful to the Magisterium who were in opposition to the "Gay Pride" Mass [and I was one of them], were accused of "bigotry, hate and injustice."

Mr. Avila offered a retraction to his opinion piece and immediately resigned from his position.  But no action was ever taken against Father John Unni.  Why is this?  Terence Donilon, spokesman for the Boston Archdiocese, told the Catholic News Service that Mr. Avila's column "..should not have been published in the pilot."  Agreed.  And Father John Unni should not have been advancing "Gay Pride" at his parish.  And the "Rainbow Ministry" at his parish should not have been linking to a Blog which ridicules the Church's teaching regarding homosexuality.  And Father Unni should not have had guest speakers at his parish who promote same-sex "marriage."

If you agree that Daniel Avila had to step down, then you must also agree that some sort of action should have been taken against Father Unni.

There should not be such a double standard in the Boston Archdiocese.  If anything, we should expect MORE from our priests in accordance with the Scriptural text in Luke Chapter 12 verse 48.
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